More Help on the Outside for Jaguars

As Jaguars general manager Gene Smith is finishing his pre-draft evaluation, there are several players whose stock is rising. Find out about one of the players who the Jaguars are very familiar with who could be their first-round pick.

USC linebacker Brian Cushing may not have the flare and name recognition of his collegiate teammate Rey Maualuga, but he could be an even better football player. The 6'3", 243 lb. Trojan has prototypical size for his outside linebacker position and he has amazing skill and agility that the Jaguars coaching staff got to see first hand as they coached his South team at the Senior Bowl.

Cushing came to appreciate Jack Del Rio's coaching style in the week that they spent together.

"It's been great so far," Cushing said of Del Rio in an exclusive interview at the Senior Bowl. "He's been a great coach who has related to us real well. We appreciate everything that he's been doing so far. It's a great opportunity to work with an NFL staff."

As a senior, Cushing recorded 66 tackles, 10 TFL, 2.5 sacks, six passes defensed, one forced fumble, one quarterback hurry, and an interception, which helped earn him first team all-Pac 10 honors. Cushing has very good straight-line speed, excellent strength, and can play inside or outside, just like both of his USC teammates.

"We push each other every single day and we love coming out here and competing," Cushing said of playing with both Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews. "Just like the practice field back in Los Angeles. Just put us anywhere and we'll play."

Brian Cushing (Getty Images)'s College Football News had this scouting report on Cushing written right after the NFL Combine—

Post-Combine Skinny:
Known for being extremely athletic on the field, the 4.74 appeared to be shockingly slow. However, he destroyed the short drills as he flew through the cones and was lightning fast in the shuttle. Throw in the 30 reps in the weight room and he came up with the workout to match what the scouts are going to see on game tape.

Positives: Fast. Really, really fast … Can play any linebacking position in any style … Can be used as a pass rusher from any angle.

Negatives: Durability. He has been banged up throughout his USC career … Won't be more athletic than NFL players … Not a huge producer.

The Jaguars actually got a little sneak peek of what Cushing would look like in a Jags uniform as he spent the first day of Senior Bowl practice donning Jaguars gear.

"My bag was lost in Memphis, TN," Cushing explained. "I just got my equipment back."

Could the airlines little folly be a sign of things to come? Cushing is currently projected to go in the middle of the first round, but it's possible that the Jags could pull the trigger early.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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